2020 Community Impact Grant
Legal-name: Linc Housing Corporation
Address: 3590 Elm Avenue
City: Long Beach
Ranking-title: Rebecca F. Clark, President and CEO
Contact-First-name: Stacey Slevcove
Title: Corporate Development Manager
Purpose: Linc Housing requests grant support for completing the buildout of community-serving facilities on the ground floor of Spark at Midtown which will be a platform for wide-ranging program opportunities for youth and families who have experienced homelessness or housing instability.
Mission: Linc Housing’s mission is to build communities and strengthen neighborhoods for people underserved by the marketplace.
What-is-project: Linc Housing requests $20,000 toward completing the buildout of community-serving facilities on the ground floor of Spark at Midtown. This building will be the new home of YMCA of Greater Long Beach’s Community Development Branch/Youth Institute, as well as other youth empowerment programs and economic development initiatives based out of this affordable and supportive housing community.
Spark will be Linc’s flagship property in our hometown of Long Beach. It has been designed to address housing, health, and economic needs in central Long Beach. The building includes 95 new apartments, 47 of which will be supportive housing for individuals and families who have experienced homelessness. Located along the Metro Blue Line, Spark will have a YMCA Youth Institute service center, demonstration kitchen, Dignity Health clinic, bike services, a small business/social enterprise café, a mini park, and flexible meeting/program space. Spark began construction in March 2019 and is expected to be completed in April 2021. Along with providing affordable housing for low-/extremely low-income households, community development will benefit the neighborhood including its racially diverse census tract with a 24.5% poverty rate (ACS 2017). Both youth living in the building and in the wider community will have access to a range of supportive programs that will be coordinated by Linc and partner organizations at Spark.
For more than a decade, the YMCA of Greater Long Beach Community Development Branch has operated the Youth Institute, a year-round program that uses technology as an integral mechanism for promoting positive youth development and developing pathways to post-secondary education and career readiness of low-income, culturally diverse urban high school youth. The goals of the Youth Institute are:
1. To improve academic achievement and stimulate interest in post-secondary education;
2. To improve the technology, career, leadership and decision-making skills to promote readiness for post-secondary education or career entry after graduation; and
3. To promote bonding to pro-social adults and community attachment to ensure that they remain engaged in their schools and communities.
Approximately 100 youth are served annually through the Youth Institute which will be relocating to the ground floor of Spark. Eighth and ninth grade youth are chosen based on the risk factors they face which might influence high school completion. The factors may include neighborhood violence, poverty, family conflict/poor family management, poor academic performance or lack of commitment to school, and involvement with antisocial peers. These youth as well as young low-income and formerly homeless residents moving into Spark will be connected to these and other programs to be hosted at the property. Thousands of people from the greater community will also be served by the ground floor facilities including the park, clinic, café, teaching kitchen, and community meeting space.
How-will-you-succeed: During the grant period, Linc will work with our general contractor to complete the buildout of the YMCA facility, demonstration kitchen, café, meeting room, clinic, and mini park. The current estimate for completion of these spaces is April 2021. When these spaces are successfully completed and furnished, the facilities will be ready to host programs and services offered by numerous partners. These include:
• YMCA’s Youth Institute
• Change Agent Productions
• Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
• Long Beach Economic Development Department/Pacific Gateway
• Best Start Central Long Beach
• Walk Bike Long Beach
• Long Beach Forward and affiliated organizations
Additional partnerships will be secured or expanded to Spark as the needs of youth and families moving into the apartments are assessed. This may include educational programs relating to gardening, health, arts and culture, financial empowerment, and much more.
Linc is simultaneously working to secure capital grants for the remaining buildout and equipment for community-serving facilities at Spark and working to expand and solidify program plans for the first year of operations. The building’s operating budget and local subsidies will support most ongoing resident services expenses and Linc’s partners will operate their respective programs inside their new facilities and shared facilities.
For example, evaluation for the YMCA Youth Institute (YI) is conducted by California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) School of Social Work. Data suggests that YI participation significantly improves leadership and technology skills and cultivates positive youth development in areas such as cultural competence, life skills, positive core values, social competence, community involvement and caring relationships with adults. YI youth, in comparison with other high school youth, have also been shown to have better grades and attendance and evidence improvement in academic self-perceptions. Ninety-two percent of YI youth graduate from high school while only 68% of Long Beach youth with similar demographics do so. The majority (81%) of YI youth enroll in a two or four-year college or trade school, while only 37% of their Long Beach peers do so. Evaluations also indicate that YI participation helps youth to explore and determine what careers will best suit them in the future. These outcomes have been consistent over a long period of time. This program has a proven track record of providing academic and social supports and a unique pathway to high school graduation and post-secondary education for urban youth. The YI has received many accolades as a program that prevents high school dropout, increases college attendance, prevents youth violence, and promotes positive youth development.
Linc will communicate about our progress and impact at Spark through our email and hard copy newsletters, website, annual impact report, and social media.
Who-are-you: Linc Housing builds, renovates, and preserves sustainable affordable homes for seniors, families, and special needs populations throughout California. Linc’s mission is to build communities and strengthen neighborhoods for people underserved by the marketplace. Linc communities are known for excellent design, outstanding management, and life-enhancing services. In recent years, Linc has focused on creating more supportive housing and has committed to properties being community assets – serving residents and surrounding neighborhoods by providing community amenities for better health and economic mobility. With more than 8,000 affordable apartment homes and more than 300 supportive housing units developed, the organization is proud to be the “linc” between hope and home for those in need of affordable housing.
Linc’s resident services division, initiated in 2004, helps residents improve household stability and quality of life by addressing social, educational, financial, and healthcare needs through direct services and partnerships. Linc volunteers donated more than 3,745 hours in 2019 supporting ten daily after-school programs, more than 60 health and wellbeing activities, six job readiness workshops, six bi-weekly food banks and numerous community-building activities. Linc Housing’s resident services team has significant experience establishing and managing programs for vulnerable youth – from running after-school programs and summer programs for low-income youth in our affordable housing communities throughout the state to case management for formerly homeless transition age youth living at The Palace in Long Beach. Linc gathered significant feedback from partner organizations, community groups, and neighbors in Long Beach at various stages of Spark’s development.
President and CEO Rebecca Clark has more than 30 years’ experience in creating strong communities and healthy residents through affordable housing. Her experiences include leading nonprofit companies, consulting on governance and organizational development, driving public policy outcomes, and effecting necessary systemic change. Chief Operating Officer Suny Lay Chang has nearly 20 years of professional experience in affordable housing, community development, and strategic management. Linc’s Board of Directors offers a wide range of experience in areas such as housing development, asset management, legal services, finance, management, policy, and service delivery.
Now in our 36th year, Linc is experiencing significant growth in our pipeline of affordable and supportive housing. In recognition of recent accomplishments, Linc was awarded Developer of the Year by Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing in October 2019. Spark at Midtown in Long Beach, described above, was named a Gold Nugget Award of Merit Honoree in the category of Best on-the-boards affordable housing community in 2019.